How Yoga Can Improve Your Cycling Performance


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February 2nd 2018, at SHIMANO BIKE NYC

You might be able to ride fast or have the endurance of a pro, but are you flexible? Do you have a hard time focusing while you ride? Many might not know this, but yoga and cycling actually go hand-in-hand with one another and practicing yoga poses on a regular basis can do wonders to improve your flexibility, balance, and focus.

At SHIMANO BIKE NYC, we enjoy making yoga a part of our weekly rides around the city. This past summer, we all gathered at SHIMANO BIKE NYC at 8 am and rode up to Central Park for a one-hour Vinyasa yoga on the grass. In August, we rode out to the Battery Park for another Vinyasa yoga session while looking up at the Statue of Liberty!

Here’s a breakdown of our yoga schedule:

July 23rd, 2017 – Sun

8 am: Tour starts @SHIMANO BIKE NYC

9 am: Outside Yoga @Central Park

10 am: Breakfast and Mingle @SHIMANO BIKE NYC

Yoga Instructor: Youlan Tang MD

Youlan Tang, MD currently working as a physician in Bronx. A trained former professional Ballet dancer, she is also a licensed Yoga instructor since 2013 after more than 10 years of practice.

She enjoys teaching Yoga in her leisure time. Dr. Tang believes that Yoga, as one of the natural effective interventions in integrative personalized medicine, could address the full range of physical, emotional, mental, social, environmental influence that affect health.

August 13th, 2017 – Sun

8 am: Tour starts @SHIMANO BIKE NYC

9 am: Outside Yoga @Battery Park

10 am: Breakfast and Mingle @SHIMANO BIKE NYC

Yoga Instructor: Annie Hartkemeyer

Annie Hartkemeyer is a New York based actress and yoga instructor. Always one for an adventure, Annie has found that her yogic journey has been one of the most rewarding ones, and she loves sharing that journey with her students. Annie is now on faculty at her alma mater, the Stella Adler Studio of Acting, where she teaches Yoga for Actors. She teaches yoga at the United Nations, works one on one with patients at a doctor’s office where she leads yoga therapy sessions, and teaches group classes and private sessions across the city. Her classes are carefully crafted to nurture the individuals present, and include lots of detailed alignment work, quiet moments of introspective self-study, and a vigorous, heat-building Vinyasa flow. She received her yoga training at Sonic Yoga, her prenatal training at Sanctuary Pilates, and trained with Connected Warriors to learn how to teach yoga to veterans with PTSD.

Yoga is a great way to healthily improve several aspects of your life and is especially useful for cyclists. Here’s why:

Improved Focus

When riding through the busy New York streets, focus is essential to avoiding cars, potholes, and other obstacles. By participating in a one-hour yoga session, you get a chance to practice focusing on nothing but your breath and how your body interacts with the world around you. By practicing this, you’ll be able to focus better once you hit the road again with an increased awareness of the world around you.

Balance

Many cycling-related injuries occur from a lack of balance. By holding static yoga positions for moments at a time, your body will have an improved sense of balance that you will be able to feel in everything else that you do. As an added bonus, your stabilizer muscles will gain strength to help you remain balanced while you ride.

Flexibility

By practicing different yoga poses (especially those designed specifically for cyclists), you’ll be able to stretch out joints and muscles that might have gotten tight over time. Areas like the hips especially can become tight over time if you don’t stretch them out. Loosen your body up and become more flexible by trying out different yoga poses and you’ll notice that you feel much more comfortable during those especially long rides.

Getting Started

As with anything, you need to learn to walk before you can run. Start off your yoga regimen slow. It’s not a competition, and everyone’s body will be able to move in different ways so don’t get discouraged if you can’t do any radical handstands just yet.

Find movements that are comfortable yet challenging to hold, and you’ll be able to improve with time. If you stick to a schedule (we recommend joining our group next summer for cycling and yoga) in only a few weeks, you’ll start to notice immediate improvements.

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